American Airlines Discounts AAnytime Awards to Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong

Jul 31, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Although it will soon be the last legacy airline with an award chart, American Airlines is inching closer to dynamic award pricing through married-segment award availability and discount programs.

For example, while it was originally launched as a “discount” program, AA has effectively used Economy Web Specials to transition its domestic economy awards to a completely dynamic pricing scheme.

Then in May 2019, AA launched an AAnytime business class award sale to Europe. Rather than opening up MileSAAver availability at 57,500 miles each way or charging a hefty 110,000 miles for AAnytime Level 1 awards, AA offered business class awards for 85,000 miles each way.

Now, American Airlines is back with another one of these quasi-dynamic award pricing schemes that it’s framing as a mileage sale. Through August 12, American Airlines has discounted economy, premium economy and business class AAnytime awards between the continental US and Asia — including both Asia Region 1 (Japan, South Korea) and Asia Region 2 (China, Hong Kong) — for flights into December 2019.

Although this sale isn’t being advertised, I was able to piece together the following pricing breakdown from award searches and confirm these rates with an American Airlines spokesperson:

Continental US-Japan/Korea Economy Premium
Discounted Rate (one-way) 47,500 57,500 82,500
AAnytime Level 1 62,500 80,000 120,000
Discount off AAnytime Level 1 24% 28% 31%

Continental US-China/Hong Kong Economy Premium
Discounted Rate (one-way) 47,500 67,500 87,500
AAnytime Level 1 65,000 85,000 140,000
Discount off AAnytime Level 1 27% 21% 38%

Unfortunately, this discount only applies to when American Airlines has coded an award option as AAnytime Level 1. There’s still plenty of days where the award rates are much higher, as we can see on AA’s nonstop route between Los Angeles and Hong Kong:

While these discounts may sound appealing, it’s important to put this in context. At current TPG valuations, 47,500 miles are valued at $665 each way — or $1,330 worth of points for round-trip. That’s substantially higher than some of the recent deals we’ve seen recently, even before you factor in the taxes/fees on the award.

Premium economy awards start at 57,500 miles each way. That’s around $805 of value for the one-way award before adding taxes/fees. Just a few days ago, there were premium economy round-trip flights to Asia starting at $805 round-trip — and you’ll earn miles on these flights.

Considering how hard it is to find MileSAAver awards in business class on AA, the discount on AAnytime business class awards is going to like be the most useful. Standard AAnytime rates of 120,000 miles (US-Asia 1) and 140,000 miles (US-Asia 2) each way are excessive, and the discounted rates of 82,500 miles and 87,500 miles are a lot more reasonable.

However, this relative reasonableness has a downside. If AA’s only choice besides releasing MileSAAver awards at 60,000 are AAnytime awards at 120,000, it’s not going to sell that many AAnytime awards and will need to resort to releasing saver availability eventually to fill the cabin. Now, by offering awards at an intermediate rate, it may sell enough business class awards that it doesn’t need to release saver award availability.

Featured image by JT Genter / TPG

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.